The most important changes to the Labor Code in 2019


The upcoming year 2019 is preparing many changes for employers and employees of HR and payroll departments. Most of them concern the period and method of storing employee documentation. However, the changes will also affect the method of payment of wages to employees. Read and learn about the changes to the Labor Code in 2019!

Shortening the period of keeping employee records to 10 years

One of the first changes announced in 2019 is the shortening of the storage period for employee documents. Until now, i.e. until the end of 2018, the archiving time was 50 years. The new Labor Code limits this period to 10 years. The term "shortening" should be treated as a convention, because the storage of some documents has so far been much shorter, eg 3 years, 5 years (depending on the type of documents). Now the retention period will be standardized for most employee documentation, which will certainly facilitate its keeping.

After 10 years, the employer is obliged to destroy all documentation if the employee does not collect it.

The shortening of the storage time of employee documentation will apply to employees employed after January 1, 2019. However, the regulations provide for the possibility of limiting this period also for employees employed in the years 1999–2018. However, it will be possible only after sending relevant declarations to ZUS, such as the ZUS OSW statement and the ZUS RIA information report.

Amendments to the Labor Code in 2019 will introduce e-personal files

Employers who are supporters of working in the digital dimension have also witnessed boldly announced changes regarding the electronicisation of personal files. The Labor Code in art. 94, point 9a shall read as follows - keep and store in paper or electronic form documentation on matters related to the employment relationship and personal files of employees (employee documentation).

This is a very important provision, which makes it possible to store documentation in paper or electronic form on an equal footing. It is the employer who decides which method to adopt. Nothing prevents you from storing paper and electronic documentation at the same time. You can also choose which documents will be electronic and which will be paper. The configurations of these solutions are free, as long as each of them guarantees the following behavior:

  • confidentiality,

  • integrity,

  • completeness,

  • availability

and the documents will be stored in conditions not threatening with damage or destruction for the period of employment, as well as for the period of 10 years of archiving obligation after the termination of the employment relationship.

The draft regulation on employee documentation sets out a number of technical requirements that must be met by electronic employee files. However, the most important issue is to affix a qualified signature or a qualified seal to each electronic document.

Principles of keeping records and employee documentation

Amendments to the Labor Code in 2019 will introduce a new way of keeping personal files and employee documentation. Work on the final version of the documentation regulation is still ongoing, but the general outline of the changes is known and is unlikely to change:

  • new rules for keeping employee files - in this matter the most important changes in keeping personal files - will apply to 4 parts (A, B, C and D), and not to the 3 parts as before. In an additional one, documents related to order penalties imposed on the employee are to be stored;

  • the new rules will apply to keeping employee documentation, which includes, for example, a time record sheet, vacation applications and other documents - it should be kept individually for each employee, and not collectively, as it has been the case so far. It is connected with the possibility for the employee to collect employment documents after the archiving period.

Payment of remuneration to the employee's account

The last change, which will come into force next year, is the method of paying employees' salaries. Until now, it was the employer who decided in what form it would transfer wages to employees. However, from next year, the regulations will indicate bank transfer as the default form of payment. Only upon a written request of the employee, the remuneration may be given in cash. This change is beneficial for employees who will not have to agree to the payment method imposed by the employer.